BETHALTO – After a 1-4 record through the first five games of the season, Marquette head coach Brian Hoener and his Explorers knew that they had to start getting some results.

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So they did.

After a 1-0 loss to Duchesne on March 23, Marquette hasn’t lost since, rattling off six straight wins including a close 1-0 win over Civic Memorial on Monday to reverse a slow start and boost the record to 7-4.

“We’re winning differently than we have in the past,” Hoener said.

“Sometimes it’s not the prettiest, but we’re playing with a lot of effort. And when you keep the ball out of the net, you give yourself a chance. We’ve just made enough plays offensively to get results. Sometimes it doesn’t matter how pretty they look, just the end result, and the end results have looked pretty good the last couple games.”

Five of the six straight wins have been shutouts. It was Marquette’s fourth straight.

Last season then-senior goalie Hannah Marshall posted 11 shutouts as the Explorers finished with an 18-4-2 record.

It’s an Explorers team that lost their starting goalkeeper, and 10 others to graduation. They also unexpectedly lost their leading goal scorer Ella Anselm, as she transferred to St. Dominic High School in O’Fallon, Mo.

So, a team that has traditionally been able to out skill and finesse their opponents, is having to find different ways to win.

“We’re playing with a lot of heart; we’re winning a lot of 50-50 balls,” Hoener said. “We might not be as technical, or possession led as we have been in the past which is why we’re having to win in a different way.”

Hoener doesn’t care how it gets done. Results are results. And they got Monday’s result thanks to a great individual effort from senior forward Jamie Jarzenbeck.

CM had back-to-back corner kicks but couldn’t find the back of the net. On the second chance, the Explorers broke out quickly as the ball got moved up to Jarzenbeck around half field.

She battled with a defender most of the way, but eventually got past her and another CM defender before chipping it past Sydney Moore who could do nothing about the one-on-one situation.

It was Jarzenbeck’s second goal of the season, and it came in the 55th minute to give her team the 1-0 lead.

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“She is our work horse. She’s kind of the heart and soul of our team,” Hoener said about his senior forward and team captain.

“She made a good play to shield it at half field and then just took off. When you get into space from half field on, you can make some mistakes, and I thought she was very composed with a composed finish. It was the play we needed at that moment, and she’s been giving us big plays all season long.”

CM head coach Eric Zyung even commended the play all round.

“I thought our defender did a great job; it was just a great counter,” he said. “[Jarzenbeck] kept our defender on her hip, and then just a clinical finish. You just tip your cap. It was a great play by a great player.”

CM of course has a flurry of great players as well, including the St. Louis area’s leading goal scorer in Abrianna Garrett.

She’s got 28 goals with 11 assists and is a nightmare for any opposing backline.

“Even the last ball in with 10 seconds left, you hold your breath, because you just don’t know,” Hoener said about Garrett. “It only takes her one chance to sneak away, and we found a way to not let her sneak away too much. It takes one sliver of opportunity and next thing you know you’re getting it out of the back of the net.”

The game against Marquette ends a tough three-game stretch for the Eagles. CM lost to Triad 6-0 last Thursday and then battled with Father McGivney for a 1-1 tie on Saturday before the 1-0 loss to the Explorers on Monday.

“But these games are going to make us better,” Zyung said. “I don’t go off the result as much as what can we do to improve going forward. So, we just have to move the ball a little bit better and not panic. Usually we’re a well composed team, but it seemed like we panicked at times.”

Zyung was’t particularly happy with his teams’ effort on 50-50 balls and felt his team didn’t get a lot of good first touches, especially early on.

Although CM did have more possession than Marquette, the Eagles just couldn’t find the right touch in the final third.

Marquette improves it’s overall record against CM to 11-0 dating back to their first meeting in 2005. The teams have played regularly since 2012. It was the first meeting on the new turf field at CM and it was one that the Eagles would like to have back.

“I think they want to win every game, but I know last year Marquette took it to us 5-0,” Zyung said. “We have a lot of returners, so they probably remember that. This is a game they really wanted. You could tell with our emotion.”

Marquette gets right back into action this evening (April 9) against Father McGivney, a team that beat them 6-0 earlier this season. That game will be played at Gordon Moore Park kicking off at 6 p.m.

CM is off until Friday when it hosts Breese Central at 4:30 p.m.

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